An NHS doctor who suffered a broken spine and was paralysed in a crash allegedly caused by his Planet X gravel bike's forks being "sheared in two" during an off-road ride is suing the company's insurers for £10 million.
Documents seen by MailOnline reportedly show that Dr Daniel Gordon, an experienced off-road cyclist, was severely injured on the evening of 20th August 2020 during a "first proper test ride" on his newly bought Planet X Tempest SRAM Force 1 titanium gravel bike.
Riding down a "grassy slope" in the grounds of the New Craigs Hospital in Inverness, Dr Gordon's barrister Nathan Tavares KC says the "carbon fibre front forks suddenly and without warning sheared in two at the base of the steerer tube, causing the front wheel of the bike to collapse rearwards".
On impact the 30-year-old, who was working as a junior doctor at the hospital, suffered "severe life-changing injuries", including a broken spine as well as being paralysed.
Planet X entered administration earlier this year, Dr Gordon pursuing a claim "likely to be in the order of £10 million" against the company's insurers Arch Insurance (UK) Limited and Chubb European Group SE.
A joint statement, submitted by law firms representing the insurers, denies Planet X's responsibility for the failure of the bike, and insists that the forks came from a "reputable supplier" and there is evidence they had been tested to "appropriate standards".
The statement said: "Planet X purchased the forks from a reputable supplier and there was evidence of the testing of the relevant products to appropriate standards, on which matters Planet X reasonably relied."
An investigation into the damage is ongoing but the statement also insisted that there have been "no complaints to Planet X or incidents referred to Planet X similar to that made by the claimant in respect of the said forks".
Having ridden along the A82 and the Caledonian canal, Dr Gordon turned towards New Craigs Hospital, his legal representation explaining that he was wearing a helmet and the bike was not fitted with any bags or luggage.
"Upon leaving the hospital location at around 9pm, he rode the bike down a grassy slope situated off a track running through the hospital grounds known as New Craigs Forresters," his barrister said.
"In the course of descending the grass slope at a speed of about 25km/hour (15.5 mph), which is terrain and a speed the claimant will say ought to have been well within the capabilities of the bike, the carbon fibre front forks suddenly and without warning sheared in two at the base of the steerer tube, causing the front wheel of the bike to collapse rearwards.
"This resulted in the claimant falling forwards heavily, impacting the ground whereupon he sustained severe life changing injuries.
"At the time of the accident, the claimant was a Foundation Year 2 doctor at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness. He lived with his Italian partner, now his fiancée, who is also a trainee doctor.
"In February 2021 they moved to more suitable wheelchair-accessible ground-floor accommodation. He subsequently returned to his medical training and now works 80 per cent of full time. His career options in medicine are now severely curtailed and he is significantly handicapped on the labour market.
"The claimant and his partner have not yet decided in which country they will live and pursue their medical careers once they completed their training."
Dr Gordon was initially treated at the hospital where he was working as a junior doctor, before being transferred to the Scottish Spinal Injuries Centre at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.
Continuing his studies, the doctor has competed in para-triathlons since, vowing that his life is "not over" due to his injuries.
Planet X was sold to Winlong Garments Limited in June following a period of financial uncertainty and speculation. Amid rumours of redundancies and financial troubles, a Planet X director applied for a Notice of Intention to appoint an administrator on 1st June, the company refusing to comment on the situation.
Eight days later and the headlines were that the "future of Planet X [was] secured", and the jobs of all 33 employees saved, after it was purchased by a West Yorkshire retailer backed by private equity.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.